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obese patient

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  • extremepark@aol.com
    need your gut reactions to this case.. ASAP.. always appreciate your thoughts. Amy Tina Baren was a 32 year-old mother of three small children all under the
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 9, 2004
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      need your gut reactions to this case.. ASAP.. always appreciate your
      thoughts.
      Amy

      Tina Baren was a 32 year-old mother of three small children all under the
      age of eight when she died. Only one month
      after the birth of her youngest daughter she presented to the emergency room
      on recommendation of her registered nurse sister who was concerned that her
      severe leg pain might be due to DVT or blood clots in her legs. Blood clots
      can be deadly if not treated. Her signs and symptoms clearly suggested DVT.
      The emergency room doctor failed to diagnose or treat the blood clots and
      sent her home where she died in front of her children the next day. The
      autopsy showed that a blood clot traveled from her leg to her lungs and
      killed her.

      Tina weighed 362 pounds and she was 69" tall according to the autopsy. She
      was a high school graduate employed part time as a cafeteria worker making
      $7.50 per hour. At the time of her death she was on maternity leave, but
      planned to return to work on a full time basis six weeks after delivery.
      Plaintiffs
      have an economist who has projected her lost future earnings at
      approximately $600,000 and her lost household services at approximately
      $450,000 for a total economic loss of approximately $1,050,000.

      The defense has an economist who projected her lost future earnings at
      approximately $400,000 and her lost household services at approximately
      $350,000 for
      a total economic loss of approximately $750,000. In this state, a plaintiff
      is entitled to recover for non-economic losses such as the loss of the
      enjoyment of life, or the opportunity to a parent to the children that
      survived her, etc., in addition to the economic losses.

      Plaintiff's economist usesgovernment statistics and comes up with $3,000,000
      to $9,000,000 as reasonable non-economic value of her life.

      Defense economist says
      government statistic approach is not valid and gives nothing for the
      non-economic value of her life.

      My questions are:

      (1) what will the problems associated with her weight?
      (2) What is the attitude to be expected by suggesting a $7.50/hour
      mother is worth ten million dollars? Five million? One million?


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    • oracleintl@aol.com
      In a message dated 6/10/2004 9:29:42 AM Eastern Standard Time, extremepark@aol.com writes: My questions are: (1) what will the problems associated with her
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 10, 2004
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        In a message dated 6/10/2004 9:29:42 AM Eastern Standard Time,
        extremepark@... writes:
        My questions are:

        (1) what will the problems associated with her weight?
        (2) What is the attitude to be expected by suggesting a $7.50/hour
        mother is worth ten million dollars? Five million? One million?

        Before answering, I want to address the anticipated reaction most people have
        to the notion that it is possible to put a value on another person's life.
        It is explained to jurors that they must get past that, there is no "justice,"
        they cannot "undo" the catastrophe, all they can do is offer "reasonable"
        financial compensation according to the established rules that govern these things.

        If it cost $1M to bring the lady back to life, I'd award it. If it cost
        $100M, I'd award that too. That is not the point. Having said that, I'll take a
        shot at the question.

        I don't think you can divorce the economic evaluations from the fact
        situation. By that, I mean that if this lady died due to some sort of negligent, but
        understandable, situation (like the average car accident) there is no way I'd
        agree that a $7.50/HR mother is worth $10M.

        In this case, this lady presented with DVT that she suspected to be DVT based
        upon the fact that a supervisory nurse recognized the symptoms - most readers
        may not know how basic this diagnosis is. DVT causes pain, swelling,
        localized redness and warmth -- obesity and hormonal changes associated with
        pregnancy are risk factors.

        We are talking basic EMT stuff here - deep vein thrombosis is rarely
        misdiagnosed. Considering that this woman was obese and 1 month post partum, the
        misdiagnosis is insane.

        Misdiagnosis, no matter how incredibly stupid, is not the end of it. Suppose
        a person with a bloody nose (just your normal bloody nose) was misdiagnosed
        as having a sprained ankle, given an ace wrap and sent home. As ridiculous as
        that misdiagnosis would be, if they died from the untreated bloody nose, a
        person might reasonably argue that nobody could have anticipated that.

        This is different. DVT is dangerous precisely because the clot causing the
        problem can break loose and lodge in the lungs. That is THE problem with DVT.

        Misdiagnosis and death as the predictable consequence is not the end of it
        either. Suppose an otherwise healthy young man has a terrible head ache
        misdiagnosed in the ER as being a migraine. They send him home where he dies of an
        untreated intracranial bleed.

        Given that it was a misdiagnosis, and death is a common result of an
        untreated cerebral aneurism, it is entirely possible that nothing could have been done
        about it anyway. That is not the case here.

        DVT is readily treatable - this death could and should have been prevented.

        My only questions would be whether the thrombosis was in the upper, or lower
        leg, what was the diagnosis, and what was the treatment. If this was DVT of
        the lower leg, they are rarely life threatening so it is plausible that the
        treating physician might have felt that admission was unnecessary - especially if
        she protested that she had babies at home who needed her.

        If this was DVT of the upper leg, the inexcusable failure to treat an
        obvious, life threatening situation would move me to agree to anything that the
        Plaintiff could support. If there were mitigating factors, I'd say something in
        excess of $1M and less than $3M.

        Bill E. Branscum, Investigator
        Oracle International
        www.FraudsAndScams.com
        www.OracleInternational.com
        PO Box 10728
        Naples, FL 34101
        (239) 304-1639
        (239) 304-1640 Fax


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